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Rail News: Federal Legislation & Regulation

Shippers group calls for increase in twin-trailer standard


The Americans for Modern Transportation (AMT) is calling on Congress to increase the national twin-trailer truck standard from 28 feet to 33 feet.

In a letter sent last week to the U.S. House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure, AMT Executive Director Randy Mullett said the "modest five-foot increase" in twin-trailer truck standard would represent one "commonsense solution" to improving the nation's infrastructure.

"To fully deliver long-term results, policymakers must examine ways to leverage technologies and efficiencies developed by the private sector and work toward laying the foundation for the infrastructure system of the future," Mullett wrote. "At no cost to taxpayers, Congress can act to modernize trucking equipment and increase the national twin trailer standard . . . "

The increase in twin-trailer size would lead to greater efficiency in the industry, reduce congestion on the nation's highways and improve safety, the letter stated.

"Research shows that the adoption of twin 33’ trailers would result in 4,500 fewer truck accidents annually," wrote Mullett.

AMT sent the letter ahead of the committee's first legislative hearing, which was held Feb. 7. AMT represents such shippers as Amazon, FedEx and UPS, and shippers represented by the National Retail Federation.

The Association of American Railroads (AAR) is opposed to any increase in truck size or weight limits, including 91,000 pound trucks or twin 33-foot double-trailers. According to the AAR, such changes would "foist more costs onto taxpayers because larger trucks would result in greater damage to infrastructure."

To read about other pressing legislative issues of interest to the rail industry, read this cover story in the February issue of Progressive Railroading.

Contact Progressive Railroading editorial staff.

More News from 2/12/2019